ABC denies Walmart, Target beer and wine permits

ABC Director Michael Langley denied requests by Walmart Stores to sell retail beer and wine in three Fayetteville store locations on Wednesday, as well as a beer permit requested by Fayetteville’s Target store.

Langley said that he denied the requests based on an opposition letter he received from Fayetteville police chief Greg Tabor.

“Anytime we get opposition from a police chief, mayor, city council member, prosecuting attorney or sheriff, we’ll deny a request, and the applicant can then seek an appeal from the board,” Langley said.

Walmart’s appeal is expected to be heard by the board of the ABC at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 18 and 19.

Tabor opposed the Walmart permit, as well as other retail beer and wine permits in Fayetteville recently based on concern over underage drinking and the Fayetteville police force’s ability to monitor the sale of beer to minors.

Laurie Smalling, a spokesperson for Walmart said that sales to minors is not something Walmart takes lightly.

“Before an cashier can sell beer (at Walmart) they have to go through an extensive computer based learning course, and they have to score a 100 percent,” Smalling said. “We also have cashiers go to another one of our stores that sell beer and wine and do a day of pure training. It’s something that we take very seriously.”

The permit that Walmart is seeking, if approved by the ABC board next month, would allow them to sell beer and small farm wines that produce less than 250,000 gallons of wine per year. Walmart is seeking the permit for their two Supercenter locations in Fayetteville as well as Walmart Neighborhood Market on E. Citizens Dr.